Delhi Court orders release of passports, mobiles of 31 foreign TJ members

New Delhi: A Delhi Court on Saturday ordered the release of passports, mobile phones and other belongings of 31 Tablighi Jamaat foreign nationals who were acquitted from various charges on December 15, 2020.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Arun Kumar Garg ordered the release while dealing with applications made for the release of their passports, mobile phones and other belongings, which were in the custody of the Delhi police’s Crime Branch.

Advocates Ashima Mandla and Mandakini Singh appeared for the foreign nationals, whereas Additional Public Prosecutor Sanjay Mishra appeared for the State.

The Tablighi Jamaat foreign nationals were acquitted by the court vide order dated 15.12.2020. However, pursuant to the Supreme Court order dated 13.01.2021, the Apex Court had directed the Centre to facilitate the return of the acquitted persons.

In view of this, the DCP Crime Branch had closed the LOC(s) of the said persons on February 17 this year. Therefore, the release of passport and other belongings was prayed by the applicants.

It is pertinent to note that the LOC has been closed for all the 35 tablighi jamaat foreign nationals, out of which 4 people have already been given passports and other belongings. However, one Bechir Yanes of Tunisia died on January 5. The others were free do go to their respective countries.

The investigating officer in the case however denied the said contention by submitting in the court that no belongings of the applicants were in custody of the Crime Branch. He also submitted that no appeal or revision was filed in the matter with regards to the acquittal order.

“In view of the aforesaid submissions made on behalf of the parties and considering the facts that the accused have already been acquitted by this Court vide judgment dated 15.12.2020, non filing of any appeal/revision by the State against judgment dated 15.12.2020 of this Court till date and that LOC(s) qua the applicant(s) is disposed off with the direction to release the original passport(s) of the applicant(s) to the applicant(s) or his/her (their) attorney against proper acknowledgment as per rules, after verification of his/her (their) identity,” the court ordered.

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